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This month we look at a variety of topical lines.

Download PGN of March '12 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation Panno System [E63]

The Fianchetto remains popular, with the Panno still being Black's main reply these days (other than switching to the Grunfeld!)

After 8.b3 Rb8 9.Bb2 What could be more natural? Yet practice often sees 9.Nd5. After 9...b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.d5 (The main line is 11.Rc1) 11...Na5 12.Nd4 b4 13.Ncb5?! walks into a little trap:

See Hoang Canh Huan- Shanava.

Fianchetto Variation Yugoslav System [E66]

In Avrukh - Cheparinov a couple of big theoreticians battle it out in the Yugoslav Variation (by transposition): 6...Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.d5 (Avrukh deviates from his own recommendation 8.Qd3 We should not read too much into this however...) 8...Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2 Rb8 11.Rb1!? a bit of a sideline, but it is still well known. The game is essentially balanced throughout.

Sämisch System - Byrne Variation [E81]

In the Sämisch 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 the Byrne system 6...c6 7.Qd2 a6 is not seen too often these days, but it does not have any big theoretical problems as far as I can tell:

Lenic - Zherebukh turns into quite an exciting affair.

Sämisch System - Panno [E84]

The trend remains the same - the Sämisch Panno remains popular, and Black is scoring well against the trendy 9.Rc1 line. After 9...Bd7 10.Nd1 e6 11.g3 b5 12.c5 b4 13.Bg2 Rb5!? is a novel approach from Black. See Moranda - Kempinski.

Classical - Makagonov Variation [E90]

In the popular Makagonov Variation 7...a5 is a good alternative to the theoretical complexities of 7...Nh5 where we has seen a lot of action the last few years:

In Guramishvili - N.Kosintseva Black plays a model game, but then everything goes wrong for her in a better ending.

Mar del Plata 9.Bg5 [E97]

Black's solid play in Hujbert - Popovic shows one reason that 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Bg5 is not as popular as it was several years ago:

After 9...Nh5 10.Ne1 Nf4 11.Nd3 Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2 h6 13.Be3 (or 13.Bd2 g5!) 13...g5! Black's setup is very solid, and he can play for a win as the game shows.

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

In Gyimesi - Bromberger the Hungarian GM plays the line that Kramnik lost to Nakamura with, 9...Nh5 10.a4!? f5 11.c5 Nf4 12.Bc4 fxe4 13.Nxe4:

Here Black tried 13...Bg4, which was suggested on ChessPub by Mikhalevski. This move may well be fine, but then Black becomes greedy and grabs a couple of poisoned pawns.

9...Ne8 has been championed with great success by Nakamura. Theoretically, Black always seems to be on thin ice but in a practical game White always seems to face great difficulties defending his king. In Korotylev - Chernobay an unusual move order eventually reaches the topical line, and Black wins another smashing game.

Until next month, David

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